It turns out that a woman who stole a conservative speaker’s notes from a recent event worked as an associate director at a nearby college.
Lucian Wintrich, White House correspondent for The Gateway Pundit, was at the University of Connecticut to give a speech called “It’s OK to Be White.” His notes were swiped from the podium ahead of his talk, however.
Wintrich chased after Catherine Gregory and reportedly grabbed her around the neck as he tried to get his notes back. He was restrained and arrested.
According to WVIT-TV, Catherine Gregory works as an administrator in the career services and advising department at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Connecticut. Her attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, explained that Gregory was against Wintrich’s “hateful, racist statements.”
As a result of her actions, Gregory has received death threats and the community college has had to increase security.
Schoenhorn maintains that “a theft requires an intent to steal to permanently deprive,” adding, “There’s no evidence of that and that was certainly not Ms. Gregory’s intention.”
Schoenhorn noted: “He’s going to suggest that picking up a piece of paper deserves a lawsuit whereas his violent reaction and threats – nevermind the fact that he physically assaulted Ms. Gregory – would be what – understandable under the circumstances? But his provocations would not,”
He further told Inside Higher Ed that Gregory’s actions were “not to stop a speech,” comparing it to “the equivalent of unplugging a microphone.”
The president of Quinebaug Valley Community College’s president released a statement that noted Gregory was there “on her personal time … as a private citizen,” explaining:
“Quinebaug Valley Community College confirms that one of its employees attended a speech given by Mr. Wintrich at the University of Connecticut. The employee attended on her personal time and QVCC learned about the incident when reported in the media. The college does not condone the behavior and encourages peaceful discourse and compassionate debate. The employee attended the event as a private citizen.”
An editorial in the Hartford Courant further noted of Gregory: “She’s an adult who should know better. Will QVCC students now model their career adviser’s behavior, thinking that grabbing stuff without permission is OK when they don’t see eye to eye with someone?”
The editorial continued: “We abhor Mr. Wintrich’s message. It is baleful. On one thing, though, we have to say that he’s right: ‘Even if you disagree with a speaker, they have the right to finish their speech unmolested.’”
Further, the editorial explained: “There are time-honored ways to practice nonviolent civil disobedience at speeches: signs, walk-outs, audience members turning their backs on a speaker. But grabbing his speech off the podium isn’t one of them.”
Among those commenting on the Inside Higher Ed coverage of the story was one person who shared: “I am a liberal but there should be some consequences for Gregory, who shouldn’t have taken the notes. Just imagine if people think it’s OK to take a speaker’s notes whenever they want without repercussions? The right to speech should include the right to have one’s notes not taken.”